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27.Nov.2001
AmigArt (ANF)


Hyperion Gives More Info about Amiga OS4
"First of all, the idea is to get the AmigaOS from 68k to the PPC. Of course, there's a lot of code in the system, and lots of code that's beyond our reach (hardware drivers in ROMs, for example). So one of the core components is of course the 68k emulator. The JIT version is already very fast, if you have a 040/25 and a fast 603e, you'll actually be able to run some programs faster than on the physical 040/25...

The second core component will be Exec SG. This is a reimplementation of the original Exec, written in C and placed onto a hardware abstraction layer so that it ports easily from one hardware to the other (remember, we intent to support a lot of different hardware, some of these will not have the Amiga chipset anymore). New features (compared to the old Exec) will be virtual memory. Don't worry, you'll not have to select "Shutdown" from the "Start" menu, you can just switch off ;) We also want to introduce some weak form of memory protection, like protecting code from being overwritten.. Later version will also include resource tracking.

The third mayor (new) building block is the new-style library interface. The cool thing about this is that it enables old 68k libraries to act as new OS4 libraries. To OS4 applications, 68k libraries will look like PPC native libraries. OTOH, new PPC only libraries will look like old 68k libraries to emulated 68k programs. This is achieved by the new library loader: Whenever a library is loaded, the "missing" part of the interface will be generated on-the-fly (by creating so called "stub" functions). So, even though a library is not yet ported to PPC, it can be used as if it were a PPC library, and as soon as it's ported, the program using it will use PPC code, even without recompiling the program (sorry if that comes out a bit complicated....)

For the initial release, we want to have at least the new Exec SG (otherwise, the whole system wouldn't work, anyway), a PPC native DOS, the TCP stack, new file system, and some devices. If there's still time, we'll port as much as possible to native PPC.

I think we have around 20 developers working on OS4.

A solution we're thinking about is loading a kernel image from the hard disk's boot block. The Amiga's disk structure allows arbitraty sized boot blocks, so theoretically, a whole kernel could fit there. We will in any case offer the possibility to use something like SetPatch (including the dreaded reboot). This means that you do not have to reformat your harddrive or even repartition or something like that. As another possibility, we will try to offer the bootblock loading.

We discussed the possibility to include a UAE in the system that will kick in when binaries are executed that require the chipset. That way, running old games could be made transparent

We will apply for BPlan Pegasos developer program, but we will not get special treatment.

We will make as much information as possible available as soon as possible. This includes documents as well as pre-release version of OS 4 for developers. Of course we want as much stuff on OS 4 as possible, so this is going to be a high priority."

- Frieden brothers (ps)

[News message: 27. Nov. 2001, 16:39] [Comments: 2 - 27. Nov. 2001, 23:42]
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